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The past two years have been a time of reckoning for pharmaceutical manufacturers over their role in promoting opioid drugs that have fed a national epidemic.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Creative Commons

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday halting the at-the-border separation of immigrant children and families. Coming up, we wade through the details of the decision and consider its significance moving forward. 

Later, we talk about chronic pain and its impact on young children. We hear from a Connecticut mother whose son was diagnosed with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome (AMPS) and learn about the out-of-state program that treated him.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission won't issue the first marijuana business license until the end of next week at the earliest, and regulators already have more than 50 applications waiting for their consideration.

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Connecticut is one of the first states to join a new effort to combat the opioid crisis. MedicineSafe aims to coordinate the efforts of many different agencies in keeping addictive painkillers out of the wrong hands.

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This hour: the deadly reality of counterfeit drugs. We discuss the history and proliferation of fake pharmaceuticals with Dr. Muhammad Zaman, author of Bitter Pills: The Global War on Counterfeit Drugs, and consider their impact both internationally and at home. 

Also: a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines an alarming trend in the U.S. -- fleas, ticks, and mosquitos are on the rise. But what, exactly, is driving the increase? And what does it mean for public health?

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As opioid overdose deaths rapidly increase, the U.S. Surgeon General is urging more people to carry naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug. The recommendation is strongly supported by The Connecticut State Medical Society.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to the nation’s opioid crisis, substance abuse affects more than the addict. More and more children are entering the foster care system every year at an unprecedented rate.

Medical marijuana appears to have put a dent in the opioid abuse epidemic, according to two studies published Monday.

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more dangerous addictive drugs. The findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs.

Dying In Prison

Mar 27, 2018
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"Compassionate release" of our sickest and oldest prisoners is a way to reduce the federal prison population. It's also meant to save on the high cost of health care for aging inmates, and show some -  well, compassion, to prisoners closing in on the end of their lives. 

Scott Beale

Connecticut lawmakers are under pressure over legalizing the recreational use of marijuana as Massachusetts gets set to sell pot from July of this year. 

A pipe was the only sign of drug use near Chris Bennett’s body, in November. But it looked like the 32-year-old Taunton native had stopped breathing and died of an opioid overdose. Bennett’s mother Liisa couldn’t understand what happened. Then she saw the toxicology report.

“I’m convinced he was smoking cocaine that was laced,” she says. “That’s what he had in his system was cocaine and fentanyl.”

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Massachusetts is rolling out legal recreational marijuana sales this summer, with pot shops scheduled to open in July.

Source: United States Census Bureau, Connecticut Department of Public Health Credit: Patrick Skahill

Figures on overdose deaths grab headlines, but treatment data could save lives. In response, health officials have released new information on emergency room visits for drug overdoses, numbers that paint a fuller picture of the state's opioid crisis.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

They've gone years without a raise. Now, members of Connecticut's private group home workforce are calling for a boost in support from the state.

With a possible strike looming this April, we speak to Josh Kovner from the Hartford Courant for an update. 

The legal retail of marijuana in Massachusetts begins July 1. That’s prompted Connecticut lawmakers to once again consider legislation to allow the sale of marijuana in the state. Similar legislation failed last year.

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